The past year has proven to be a revitalization for the medium of podcasting as celebrities, personalities, and companies from across the globe began to experiment with the platform. Following the hit podcast “Serial”, a host of new shows began to emerge. Pair these with the already established acts and you had dozens of great shows at your disposal. Here are just a few favorites from 2015 that captivated or hooked millions of listeners.
It would be a disservice to not include the most popular podcast of 2015 on this list. From the creators of This American Life, another top podcast, host Sarah Koenig tells an entire true story over the course of a single season. The first season of the show told the story of Hae Min Lee, a Baltimore high school senior who disappeared and Adnan Syed, the main suspect in her disappearance. Digging into this mystery hooked millions of listeners and retained them even as the show has entered it’s second season.
“Stuff You Should Know”
From the crew at HowStuffWorks.com, this level of audio insight is usually left only to the professionals. Fortunately, we have professionals, as Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant team up to educate the masses on how many things work, while also giving you those useful bits of trivia knowledge that go over well at parties and family gatherings.
“The Adam Carolla Show”
From his start on the radio call-in show turned MTV hit Loveline to the hit show that propelled Jimmy Kimmel to stardom, The Man Show, Adam Carolla has been the host of this daily comedy and news podcast since 2009. In 2011, Guinness named The Adam Carolla Show the record holder for the most downloaded podcast. Check out for yourself what makes Adam and his usual lineup of co-hosts and guests such an entertaining and engaging show to listen to.
Promoting itself as “a show about curiosity”, Radiolab is a science and philosophical podcast that delves deep into broad and challenging subjects while framing them in an accessible way. Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich bring you the Peabody Award winning show that began as a New York radio program in 2002 but has since grown into one of the most popular podcasts out there. Radiolab may not release new episodes as often as other shows, but there’s quite a backlog to explore of deep, interesting discussion.
“Stuff You Missed in History Class”
Also from the HowStuffWorks.com crew, Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey host this informative and entertaining look at historical fact, fiction, and everything in between. Not only does this show touch on some of the finer points of history that often get lost in the pomp and circumstance of larger events, but it also finds those genuinely missing pieces of history that may have been overlooked for some time.
This is just a small sampling of some of the great podcasts that found footing or continued their meteoric rise in popularity over the past year. With what we’ve seen out of 2015, it’s exciting to wonder what sort of interesting content and innovative production we’ll see out of 2016.
Runner up and staff favorite: The Dr. Drew Podcast!